The current government’s approach of spend, spend, spend on everything that counts as “well-being” and able to be included on the virtue-points chart has meant that serious cuts have had to be made elsewhere, and one of the hardest hit areas is infrastructure, and roading in particular.
It is no surprise of course, despite adding billings to our collective loan balances as government debt, there was a billion dollar bribe to the Winston First party to spend on the regions with no accountability, but was completely necessary in order for Ardern to bribe together a coalition and exclude the National party (and it’s dominant share of votes) from government. The spend up continues – a billion dollars for kiwirail, half a billion for mental health (ironic since this government is driving people mad), a third of a billion for “child wellbeing” (whatever that means), a couple more billion allocated for kiwibuild, a blank cheque for a gun buyback, and the list goes on.
Well, all that money has to come from somewhere. Two somewheres actually, one from the pockets of Kiwi households in the forms of new taxes and levies, and secondly by increased borrowing, which will eventually have to be paid off out of the pockets of Kiwi household. So actually, yes, just one somewhere, our pockets.
The worst part is the lack of justification or even a means of evaluating if the spent money has even achieved anything. Certainly the Provincial Growth fund has no measures of success – it sure is lucky that New Zealand is such a wealthy country we can throw a billion dollars into a slush fund and not even care if it gets spent intelligently. Sarcasm aside, it is clear that Ms Ardern and her cabinet do not feel the need to justify spending or results, and that the plebs needs to just accept that they know best.
To make ends meet more in the middle though, cutting of existing expenditure is one way to make the books a little less top-heavy. Those pesky roading and infrastructure projects that were investments into the future of NZ?